The highly qualified teacher: Perceptions of parents, teachers, and principals at the elementary and middle school levels

Donna M Raptakis, Johnson & Wales University

Abstract

The success of a school depends largely on the quality of its teaching staff. When teachers are skilled, parents and administrators are happy. More importantly, when teachers are effective, students learn. Darling-Hammond & Young (2002) found strong correlations between teacher quality and student performance in reading and math. Despite these correlations and a general agreement about the importance of high-quality teachers, there is little or no agreement about the definition of such a teacher among educators or between educators and parents of school children (Cochran-Smith & Fries, 2001; Goldhaber, 2002; Hess, Rotherhan & Walsh, 2004). ^ The purpose of this study was to examine research regarding: (1) The attributes, characteristics and behaviors of a quality teacher, effective teacher, and highly qualified teacher; (2) the operational definitions that principals, teachers, and parents have for a high quality teacher; (3) whether parents, teachers, and principals' perceptions of a high quality teacher at the elementary level differ from the perceptions of parents, teachers, and principals at the middle school level. ^ The study incorporated qualitative and quantitative methods, that measured principals, teachers and parents' perceptions of specific teacher attributes, characteristics and behaviors. An Excellent Teacher Survey was developed through a review of the research, a focus group and then pilot tested, with a small sample of potential respondents. The sample (N = 164) included parents, teachers and principals at the elementary and middle school levels. Responses were analyzed to identify the differences and similarities across the three groups with respect to the specific variables. ^ Following an analysis of survey responses, interviews were used to obtain a more detailed understanding of the differences and similarities among the three groups with respect to these variables. A total of (n = 12) parents, teachers and principals at the elementary and middle school levels were also interviewed. This allowed for obtaining in-depth information on selected variables of interest. A thematic analysis of the data from the interviews occurred indicating specific characteristics of a highly qualified teacher. Conclusions of this study provide a clearer understanding of the qualities, attributes, and characteristics of highly qualified teachers who can be helpful in recruiting, selecting, hiring, supporting, and retaining teachers. ^

Subject Area

Education, Elementary|Education, Secondary|Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Recommended Citation

Donna M Raptakis, "The highly qualified teacher: Perceptions of parents, teachers, and principals at the elementary and middle school levels" (January 1, 2005). Dissertation & Theses Collection. Paper AAI3177200.
http://scholarsarchive.jwu.edu/dissertations/AAI3177200

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